The Miss India beauty pageant is causing controversy due to its preference of fairer skin and lack of diversity among its 30 finalists.
The Times of India newspaper released headshots of each of the women competing in the contest, sparking a wave of criticism that the contestants share some physical characteristics.
The grooming expert for the pageant, Shamita Singha, denied the claims in a recent interview on BBC, pointing out that the images were edited and that the contests’ skin tones were not as represented in their headshots.
"This is not the skin tones of the actual pictures. These are just some of our girls in the last year. Everyone's skin color is kept as is," Singha said.
The photographs highlight a constant problem of colorism, also known as shadeism, in Indian culture.